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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
BBC plans global website with ads
Anna Maxwell Martin and Denis Lawson in Bleak House
Overseas users could be able to download BBC TV programmes
A proposed BBC website for users outside the UK is likely to have adverts, according to the corporation's commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

A spokesperson said a "limited level" of ads would be "a very viable option".

BBC Worldwide hopes to launch bbc.com in spring 2007 to capitalise on the popularity of BBC content abroad.

TV shows could be sold to international users on the new site. It must first be approved by the BBC Trust, which will replace the corporation's governors.

Before that, proposals will go through the BBC's internal journalism board and executive direction group.

But it will not be subject to the public value test, which will ensure the BBC's non-commercial ventures do not adversely affect commercial markets in the UK.

"Our hope would be to have the site fully up and running in a year's time," the spokesperson continued.

'Video on demand'

Visitors to bbc.com are presently redirected to the bbc.co.uk homepage.

According to BBC Worldwide, the bbc.com site will not feature pop-up promos, animated commercials or the sort of ads that "give the web a bad name".

TV news channel BBC World, which is broadcast outside the UK, carries adverts and could be used as a model.

It is also hoped that in due course, the site will offer direct consumer downloads via the proposed Integrated Media Player, or iMP.

"At a later date it might become a portal for video on demand for international users," the BBC Worldwide spokesperson said.

iMP is an application in development offering UK viewers the chance to download TV and radio programmes they may have missed for up to seven days after they have been broadcast.


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